New York officers kill black man after mistaking metal pipe for gun

Apr 06, 2018, 03:35
New York officers kill black man after mistaking metal pipe for gun

A third caller said the man is holding a gun. According to Monahan, when the officers arrived responding to the gun calls, Vassell "took a two-handed shooting stance" and pointed the object at the approaching officers.

The chief said four officers - three in plainclothes, one in uniform - fired 10 shots at the man. He was taken to Kings County Hospital where he was pronounced dead. NYPD refused to answer if officers warned Vassell before firing, and none of the officers involved wore body cameras.

When they ran to him to administer aid, they discovered the pipe with a knob at the end.

Vassell lived just around the corner from where the shooting took place.

"He never had a problem with anyone", said resident Andre Wilson, who knew the victim for 20 years.

A tense crowd gathered after the shooting, with some people shouting at officers.

"It's not a crime scene!"

An NYPD officer shot and killed an unarmed black man on Wednesday afternoon. Hinds said a plainclothes officer got out of the passenger seat of the vehicle and fired at the man numerous times.

The New York City Police Department has agreed to stop surveilling people in New Jersey in investigations based exclusively on their race, religion, or ethnicity as part of a legal settlement between the city and Muslim American plaintiffs.

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who is investigating the incident, said his office was committed to an "independent, comprehensive and fair investigation". His father, Eric Vassell, told NY1 on Wednesday that his son had bipolar disorder and had been "sick for a long time".

Rocky Brown, 45, told the Times he had known Vassell for years, and was aware of his mental illness. "Every cop in this neighborhood knows him", John Fuller told the Times.

"If that's what officers were responding to in real time, we've got to recognize that if they believe they are dealing with an immediate matter of life and death to the people in the surrounding area, that's an exceedingly hard, tense, split-second decision that has to be made", he said. "I bet if he was a white kid, they wouldn't fire a shot at him like that". It's nearly like they did a hit. According to the 40-year-old witness, the officers did not even say please to Vassell.

The officers who responded Wednesday didn't have some tools other peers might have used to bring the situation to a peaceful resolution, from specific knowledge of Vassell as a neighborhood figure to specialized training in dealing with mentally ill civilians. "They just started shooting".

Vassell's death comes amid heightened tensions nationwide regarding police accountability. The police did not say what the man was holding when officers shot him. Clark's death triggered weeks of intense protests and public outrage in Sacramento.

The shooting occurred in Crown Heights, a predominantly black neighbourhood in the heart of Brooklyn.

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